Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Clone Wars -- "The Disappeared: Part 2" (Ep. 6.9)

-- Wisdom is born in fools as well as wise men.

[Remember, you can sign up to join the Clone Wars Project at any time by clicking this link.]
[Well, actually, considering that we're into season six, now, probably no one new is going to sign up, BUT! Hop over to The Armchair Squid for his take on the current episode.]

Last episode was Temple of Doom; this episode is Raiders. You know the whole thing where Indy chases Nazis (see, Indiana chases hates Nazis! If it's good enough for Indy, it should be good enough for, well, everyone) carrying Marion through the streets while she's yelling his name? Except this time it's cultists carrying Queen Julia while she yells "Jar Jar!" Which is fine as far as it goes, except that it's Jar Jar chasing them because Mace Windu stopped to beat up some cultists.

I have a serious problem with Mace stopping to beat up Nazis. I mean cultists. I don't have a problem with him beating them up, but they were chasing the dudes who had the queen, and Windu had no reason to spend his time on those dudes. He stopped long enough to get split up from Jar Jar which gave the cultists time to get away. But, see, those particular guys were no threat to Binks or Windu, and they could have just bypassed them and retrieved the queen.

Yeah, I know that would have been the end of the episode... except it wouldn't have to be! I mean, Mother Talzin is the big bad in this, so any number of things could have happened! Probably not what did happen, but I hate when a story hinges on a stupid decision someone makes that isn't a decision the person would normally have made. [It's okay for a character to make a stupid decision if it's a stupid character who makes those decisions all the time, but a smart character shouldn't make stupid decisions just to further the plot.]

So... As it turns out, this two-episode arc was here to give us closure on the dangling Mother Talzin thread, which, I suppose, give us closure on all of the Dathomir plots. Other than, technically, I suppose, Darth Maul and Asajj Ventress, but I don't consider them part of the Dathomir plots even if they did both come from there.

Anyway... Cut ending. Anti-climactic. It's fun to see Jar Jar with some romance? Maybe.

"Maybe using the Force is taking too long..." (paraphrased)

Monday, August 21, 2017

The New Civil War (ongoing): Charlottesville

I know a lot of you out there think I'm going overboard with talking about a civil war, another civil war. Not just talking about it but writing about it as well (that story starts here: "Day One") but, while that story is fiction, the idea that there is a new civil war coming is not.

It's already here.

Yeah, I'm pretty sure that in the future, historians are going to look back and say that the Second Civil War began in Charlottesville, VA. In many ways, it's the first confrontation, the first confrontation where the Nazis came in with intent to kill. And I don't just mean the terrorist incident with the car.

If you haven't watched this video, you need to.

Just to be clear, none of what I'm saying is because of that video. The video is just research that backs up what I was already saying.

Look, I am not advocating for a war. The thought of that scares the shit out of me, because there won't be any battle lines this time, not physical ones. There will be no armies that meet and clash in the way it happened in first civil war or in WWI or WWII. This will be a war fought in the streets of our cities all across America, often between regular people. It will be a war of terrorists attacks being performed by Nazis and those on the Alt-right. There will be no safe zones.

Can it be stopped?

I don't know.

The consensus, currently, among historians and military people who study this kind of thing (including civil wars currently being fought in other countries) say we're at about a 35% chance of a full civil war, but one of the leading minds on the subject (I forget his name and am not going to go back and look it up again now) puts us at a 65% chance of a full civil war.

One thing is clear, we can't stop it with Trump #fakepresident in office, and we probably can't stop it with anyone from the GOP in office. In fact, as I'm writing this, Bannon has just  been given the boot by Trump and Breitbart is going to war with the #fakepresident over it. I don't even know if that's figurative or not.

What I know is this:
Right-wing nutjobs have been arming themselves for decades. A huge number of the Nazis at the "rally" in Charlottesville were armed to the teeth. That guy in the Vice video was pulling out weapons as if he were Gimli in Jackson's rendition of LotR. They are prepared for violence and they want violence.

The Nazi faction in America is still growing, still getting stronger, and they want an ethnic cleansing. They want an America for white people. At some point, unless they are put down first, there's going to be a concerted effort on their part to attack minority groups with the goal of killing them.

The Left needs to be prepared and, right now, I don't think that we are. We somehow think this is all going to blow over or that real violence, really real violence, isn't going to happen, not here, not in America. Well, it's already started and it's just going to get worse. I mean, hell, various white supremacist groups are going on and on about how glad they are that they made the first kill and how she deserved it. And she was white! Wait till they start on the people they really want to go after.

If you're going to go to a protest, you need to take precautions. Minimally, I think that involves buying some Kevlar or some kind of body armor and probably wearing a helmet. Yes, I'm being serious. The white supremacists are armed and armored! You need to protect yourselves.

The time for trying to be in the middle is over. This is not going to pass without people taking a stand against it. It's time for those of us who believe in justice and liberty for all people to stand up for it. It's time for those of us who believe in what the nation was founded on to stand up and fight for it.

Most of all, it's time to deliver a message to the GOP that they need to get off of the fence. It's time for them to quit using their mealy mouths to condemn Trump #fakepresident while doing nothing about it and trying to work with him to further their own hate agendas. Either stand with Trump #fakepresident or stand against him. And, if they're going to stand with him, they need the message that they will go down with him.

What I know is this:
If you want to stop this war before it really gets going, it requires strong action now. Strong action NOW. Not more talk. Action. For some of you, that action is talk; it's speaking up. Now. It's time for the first civil war to end, for racial injustice to end, for white supremacy to end.

Friday, August 18, 2017

What I've Learned from Politics

I've learned that I'm tired of politics. Seriously, I'm not really a political person anyway. Yeah, I see you laughing there, but you should go check this post to understand what I'm talking about.

I've learned that I really liked it when I didn't have to pay attention to the political realm EVERY SINGLE FUCKING DAY. I think this must be what it's like to live with an abusive alcoholic. You have to always be on guard, always on watch, always paying attention. God, it's tiring. If nothing else, Obama gave us a kind of stability that allowed us to pursue our own lives but, now, every day there is something new and every week, seemingly, some new catastrophe. Because if there's one thing you can count on is that Trump #fakepresident will get drunk every weekend and go on some kind of twitter-rage so that each week begins with some kind of horrible drama.

I've learned that one man can make a difference, but it's not a good one. Political stress is everywhere, not just here but all across the world, and a great deal of it is being caused by ONE FUCKING ASSHOLE with the power to wage nuclear war #fakepresident, and I don't mean the chubby baby in North Korea. The whole world is on edge because of the toddler the US put in the highest office in the world.

I've learned that some people I thought once were pretty decent people have been vile undercover racists and worse all along. I've learned that people who, at this point, are still supporting Trump #fakepresident have no redemption in store for them. If you support a racist, fascist, Nazi-lover; you are a racist, fascist, Nazi-lover. Sorry, you don't get to be a Trump #fakepresident supporter and also try to claim that you're not racist. Not anymore. Not ever, really, but certainly not after Charlottesville and Trump's #fakepresident refusal to condemn the Nazi-instigated violence.

I mean, fuck, even some of the worst Republicans out there, real assholes themselves (Rubio, Hatch), immediately condemned the acts of the Nazis. How hard is it to condemn Nazis? Too hard for Trump #fakepresident and Sessions. So, yeah, Sessions called it domestic terrorism, but it was obvious that he was forced into that position with his whole, "it meets the legal definition" bullshit.

I've learned that the GOP are even bigger assholes than I thought. And complete cowards.

I've learned that talking politics is good for blog traffic, which isn't something I considered when I started doing political posts.

I've also learned that the increased traffic does not lead to more comments or book sales. Which, admittedly, was not a motivation for making the political posts (again, see the link provided above), but it would have been nice. Would be nice.

I've learned to not respond to people who say things like "prove it." It doesn't matter what data or evidence you show them, they will continually tell you that that data and evidence are fake, something they've learned from their Russian-Nazi master #fakepresident.

I've learned that Texas is the hand basket. Except for Austin. Texas has politicians as bad as #fakepresident. It makes me ashamed to have been there and so glad to be away from there.

I've learned that Nazis don't give up. David Duke is still around and pushing his racist KKK agenda decades after trying to be governor of Louisiana. Louisiana is probably the handle of the hand basket.

I've learned that books like 1984 and Fahrenheit 451 never quit being relevant.

I've learned that intolerance is a thing that can't be tolerated. At all. If it could be tolerated at all, we wouldn't have Nazis inciting violence again and heading us toward a New Civil War. Also, you can see this post where I first talked about that.

I've learned that it's never too late to punch a Nazi in the face.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Clone Wars -- "The Disappeared: Part 1" (Ep. 6.8)

-- Without darkness, there cannot be light.

[Remember, you can sign up to join the Clone Wars Project at any time by clicking this link.]
[Well, actually, considering that we're into season six, now, probably no one new is going to sign up, BUT! Hop over to The Armchair Squid for his take on the current episode.]

Today's episode: Jar Jar Jones and the Temple of Doom!

Honestly, I'm not sure how I feel about this episode. On the one hand, we find out that Jar Jar has a love interest...
Yeah, I'm going to stop right there.
There is humor in it, though, in that Jar Jar goes off with Queen Julia for the night and Mace Windu spends the time freaking out about where Jar Jar has gone and what he could possibly be doing. That the queen is Jar Jar's girlfriend never enters Windu's mind. Inconceivable!


The dagoyan people don't like the Jedi despite their affinity for the Light Side of the Force. They hold the belief that the Jedi are kidnappers because of their practice of taking Force sensitive children to train at the Jedi Temple. And, well, we don't know that the Jedi are not really kidnappers of a sort. All we know is that they take young children to the Temple to be trained as Jedi and that that is common practice in the Republic. We don't know anything at all about how this is carried out or whether it's with consent or how often it might not be with consent or anything. And all of this is something that's mentioned, basically, in passing, but it's the most interesting question the episode brings up.

Well, that and why anyone, even Jar Jar's girlfriend, would trust Jar Jar to solve a mystery. You'd think that someone that close to Binks, in fact, would be the last one to trust Jar Jar to handle an important task completely alone.